New Video: Cost of WalkerCare Skyrockets to $1.3 Billion
Citizen Action Video Debunks Claim that Walker BadgerCare Plan Spends less State and Federal Money
Statewide: Today Citizen Action of Wisconsin released a video debunking assertions by conservatives on the Joint Finance Committee that Governor Walker’s BadgerCare plan costs less in combined federal and state spending. It is already well understood that Walker’s plan costs more state money, by current Legislative Fiscal Bureau projections $149 million more over the next 2 years to cover over 84,000 fewer people.
Defenders of Walker’s plan on the Joint Finance Committee last week asserted his plan costs less in combined federal and state dollars. The demonstrably false claim began in Governor Walker’s original announcement of his plan that included a chart on the size of the federal debt.
As can be seen clearly in video of last week’s Joint Finance Committee hearing, the claim is based on the faulty assumption that spending is limited to Wisconsin’s Medicaid program. In point of fact, by forcing over 84,000 more people off BadgerCare and on to the new health exchanges, Walker is forcing them onto a new program that costs much more per recipient than BadgerCare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it costs on average $9,000 per recipient to subsidize health insurance exchange-based coverage, and only $6,000 per recipient for Medicaid. This puts the price tag of Walker’s plan at over $1.3 billion in the current two year budget, compared to $579 million for the Democratic alternative.
“It shows a stunning contempt for the citizens of Wisconsin for Governor Walker and his supporters to continually propagate false rationalizations for his decision to reject hundreds of millions of federal dollars to strengthen Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “It would be worth paying more to guarantee that there is somewhere to go for everyone in Wisconsin to secure affordable health coverage. It is financial malpractice to pay over half a billion dollars more to deny affordable coverage to tens of thousands of Wisconsinites.”